The Social Network (PG-13) 121 minutes A
A War He Can Afford
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara and Justin Timberlake
It's fiction loosely based on nonfiction (Ben’s Mazrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires) and yet more proof that the pursuit of beauty, money and to some extent, revenge, is what fuels the world.
Essentially The Social Network is a film more about revenge and less about social networking. The opening scene finds Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) being dumped by his girlfriend who exclaims, “dating you is like dating a Stairmaster” before leaving our antihero bewitched, bothered and bewildered at the bar. Moments later back in his Harvard dorm room, drinking insistently and still fuming from the break-up, Zuckerberg creates “Facesmash”, which later becomes "thefacebook" and eventually just “Facebook”. It all results in Zuckerberg becoming the youngest billionaire in the world and a world-class asshole.
I loved this film mostly for its exploration of human behavior. Minus the smarts and access to free money (from his friend “Eduardo” played by Andrew Garfield) Zuckerberg is a familiar representation of today’s society of longing to belong, status updates and friendship. Many times during the film I found myself cheering for Zuckerberg while simultaneously wishing he wouldn’t be such a jerk because then he could have it all. But his jerkiness is what makes the film so winning and keeps the audience engaged: he's the geek you love to hate.
The Social Network is talky, it’s one of the few (but common) complaints I’ve read about the film. Yet it’s masterfully made- crisp and clean with a witty upbeat pace. Not to mention it's scored by none other than Trent Reznor.